Electromagnetsm & Optics

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Amherst College

Most of the physical phenomena we encounter in everyday life are due to the electromagnetic force. This course will begin with Coulomb’s law for the force between two charges at rest and introduce the electric field in this context. We will then discuss moving charges and the magnetic interaction between electric currents. The mathematical formulation of the basic laws in terms of the electric and magnetic fields will allow us to work towards the unified formulation originally given by Maxwell. His achievement has, as a gratifying outcome, the description of light as an electromagnetic wave. The course will consider both ray-optics and wave-optics descriptions of light. Laboratory exercises will emphasize electrical circuits, electronic measuring instruments, optics and optical experiments. Three hours of lecture and discussion and one three-hour laboratory per week.

Requisite: PHYS 116 or 123.  Fall semester:  Professors Hanneke and Jagannathan.  Spring semester:  Professor Loinaz.

Linked Course: 
Multiple required components--lab and/or discussion section. To register, submit requests for all components simultaneously.
Linked Course Comments: 

You must take one section for each of the following coreqs : PHYS-117L

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
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Course Sections

Electromagnetsm & Optics
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0

William Loinaz


MWF 12:00PM-12:50PM